Released: 2006, STF Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Privateer, hailing from Cracow, Poland, this skillful power/heavy metal outfit, was formed in July 2005 – and since then the band has managed to take some important steps in their career to get their name more known on people´s lips around this globe. Privateer have already played together with such bands as Sabaton and Cynic in Europe and are currently working with their 2nd album, titled THE LAST JOURNEY.
Without rushing that much into the far future yet, Privateer´s debut album, THE TRAITORS, was released on German label STF Records in 2006 already. The response toward the album was pretty good, and the press overall seemed to like the album quite a lot. And I can somewhat clearly see and understand now why it did appeal to so many people.
Privateer mixes kinda cleverly a typical Euro-style power metal with some random bits of heavy metal, in which guitars´, vocals´ and keyboards´ roles play an important part of the wholeness. To the band´s vocalist´s (Pudel) credit, I´m somehow glad he has been wise enough to keep his high-pitched screams to a minimum, concentrating on the actual singing instead. And he´s good at what he does, but nothing like outstanding or truly phenomenal or anything like that. Also I really happen to like Hannibal´s (ha, don´t make me ask where he got his ´artist name´ from) 6-string mastery throughout the whole album. There´s some neo-classical playing, some plain shredding style, some nice solo work, etc. in his performance, and it all sounds like he has paid quite a lot of attention to the actual structure of a song how to make it flow as effortlessly and nicely as possibly. He has done a relatively nice job regarding all of these aspects, I must admit.
As for the keyboard parts on THE TRAITORS, they are basically well-thought-out and fitted into the songs to support everything else in them to make the songs stand out in a solid way, although at some places I really am not so sure what Coyote (the man behind the keys) was really thinking when playing those keyboard parts. F.ex. in songs like “Children of the Dog Star” and “Dark Father” his keyboard parts seem to be somewhat badly out of place. Every time the keyboard parts in those two particular songs hit me, my ears immediately tell me to turn the volume off. They just sound a bit too ´irritating´ to my ears.
As for some band comparisons to Privateer, I´m positive people can dig up some certain familiar bits from the directions of such bands as Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Judas Priest, Dream Theater, Majesty and so on. And speaking of getting influenced by something on the whole, playing something between power and heavy metal is always more or less a summary of different musical influences, so it´s really up to every listener´s ears what band names may pop up in his/her mind whenever spinning these ambitious Polish musicians' debut album.
THE TRAITORS is a good and promising debut release from Privateer, and I expect at least a good follow-up album from them this year. However, let time tell anyway how good it´s gonna be eventually.